Books: 4 new fiction releases to look out for in Feb

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We take a look at what's new on the shelf, including the latest offerings from Kristin Hannah, Jane Harper and Mike Nicol and a stunning debut novel about a forbidden union between two enslaved men in America's Deep South.

The Prophets 

By Robert Jones Jr

Published by Quercus

In a nutshell: a heartbreaking tale about forbidden gay love in America's Deep South.

The blurb: Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters.

But when an older man — a fellow slave — seeks to gain favour by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony. SOURCE:

What the critics say: "What I found was an often lyrical and rebellious love story embedded within a tender call-out to Black readers, reaching across time and form to shake something old, mighty in the blood." - Danez Smith, The New York Times

"There are no easy platitudes about how love triumphs over suffering here, however; suffering suffuses every page. Even in moments of sweetness, there’s also a glowering, looming dread. What is remarkable, Jones suggests, is that humans do still love, even when the most terrifying threats hang over them. Even when knowing their oppressors will never allow them a happy ending." - Holly Williams, The Guardian

The Four Winds

By Kirstin Hannah


In a nutshell: an unforgettable tale of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.

The blurb: Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.

Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?

From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds. SOURCE:

What the critics say: "The Four Winds is epic and transporting, a stirring story of hardship and love that is likely to lead to a film adaptation."  - Eliot Schrefer, USA Today

"Hannah brings Dust Bowl migration to life in this riveting story of love, courage, and sacrifice." 

The Rabbit Hole

By Mike Nicol


The blurb: Money, money, money. Tons of it. In US dollars And it’s all being funnelled into a government tender snagged by family owned Amalfi Civils. Which would be great for business if CEO Angela wasn’t fighting with her CFO brother Rej. Where Angela sees corruption, Rej sees cabinet ministers, politicians, officials eager to lend a hand - for a fee. It’s a big pot so he’s happy to oblige. And if needs be he’ll take out his sister to keep the lucre.

There are other players in this game - the CIA for one, The State Security Agency for another. And a covert operation using lawyer and spy Vicki Kahn as a honeytrap to ensnare Rej’s middleman the very same middleman that her lover, PI Fish Pescado is investigating. With these stakes, it’s only time before the killing starts. SOURCE: Penguin Random House

The Survivors 

By Jane Harper

Little Brown

Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that haunts him still resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home.

His parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the murder investigation that follows. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away . . .  SOURCE: Jonathan Ball

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